Category Archives: philosophy/mysticism

Understanding Power Part II

I tend to think of Part I as Simple power while Part II deals more with complex power.

Before I continue I wold once again like to state that I believe that every human being has the right to defend themselves.  It should be understood that some believe that a good offense is the best defense but the moment that one makes the argument for any form of preemption in the name of self defense that one should always suspect that it is, in reality, an argument for aggression.

Complex power, for the sake of thus discussion is dependent on developed societies in order to exist.  Developed societies is a polite way of saying civilized.  Civilized societies have institutionalized structures, the peculiarity of division of labor and more often than not hierarchical leadership structures.  These concepts are all part of the discipline of sociology a part of academia I sort of backed my way into in an informal sense.  The first limitation I wish to place on this form of moderate power is that it is an aspect of social systems whose reach could be the size of a county, a township, a municipality,. a state or providence, a medium sized corporation, a small religious tradition or even a small country.  The key in understanding scale is firstly realizing that these entities have little or no ability to project power much beyond the region in which they dwell.  This inability to project power and the small scale of this tier of power allows the people who both compose the organs of the system or systems as well as the individuals that cohabit with the system to know each other or at least have the possibility of knowing each other.

Television, mass media and yes, even the internet create the illusion of knowing another person but that is not the same, for the sake of this discussion, of knowing a person in the sense of sharing any given three dimensional space.  The holders of power and the rest of the population can actual be on good speaking terms, go to each others birthday parties, visit each other when they are sick and attend functions both social, educational or managerial.  This is an effort to get across the scale of these intermediate systems.  Let it be understood that just because you can or the possibility exists to share 3D space with a person doesn’t mean that you do, only the possibility must exist in a probable and realistic manner for it to qualify.

Also in the realm of intermediate power there is at least the illusion of accountability for those who hold said power’s actions.  What this means is that if a person who holds a position of power commits a crime in the codified sense then there are criminal consequences or at the very least the illusion of consequences.  This means a trial and the possibility of prison just like those of us who live around, under or work with in said system.  What is important here is that the illusion of consequences be realistic so that it could be said that on occasion some one has to pay the piper as it were.

So what are the prerequisites to hold said power?

Power can be obtained several ways,  it could be a question of status of family, by election of your peers,by accreditation and possible do to personality and appearance (Charisma).

Here are a few quick illustrations.

Family Status is usually connected to both wealth and influence.  Those two things, wealth an d influence, regardless of the nation state or region you might examine, seem universal.  The was a gentleman, who had recently passed beyond the veil, that I had become familiar with through the local historical society.  His family was long established in my community and still held some considerable capital though not as much as they had in the past.  He worked as a middle school  principal.  He was always being quoted in the paper as though his thoughts on our little community had any real relevance and he traveled to Washington D.C.  once a month for some sort of a panel at the capital.  This was mentioned as an aside and I didn’t pry.  There is no doubt that he had much experience that would have been valuable to any inquiry specifically round the topic of education.  I am also certain that most people who have been seriously involved in education for any reasonable length of time would also have ideas and experiences that would be equally valuable.  I was left wondering why the preference?

My grandfather was also a school teacher and a high school coach, basket ball, Football and base ball.  His power came from accreditation as he was the first person in the state of Ohio to earn a masters degree in education.  He also had a gift for turning some coin in the world of investing so he was something of a self made man.  He too held a great deal of sway in my small city.  He could get people, especially minors out of jail on his word alone.  He had the ear of judges, lawyers, doctors, members of law enforcement, school teachers and even people in the government at the state level.  This power was able to change someone in my locality circumstances when it came to their status with the various systems that govern the world in which I lived.  He also held elected office in my small city.

And we must not forget Doctors, They have power too. They have the power to not take you as a patient.  If you should pass from inability to receive medical care they will not be held liable in any way though they may be held liable in the case of malpractice thus the illusion of consequences.  People will talk about health care reform (Health Care affordability and Portability Act) as though it has revolutionized access to medical services.  Down here where I live and most of my friends live the system has some serious kinks to be worked out.  People are having a harder time finding the kind and quality of care that they could before the Acts passage.  I have no idea what it is like in the big cities, I can only speak of the few cases of which I am aware.  This aside, I know of three cases where a Doctor decided they weren’t going to see a patient any more.  They did not state a reason why and continued to practice in the local community.  My point of view on this may seem a bit harsh and in all honestly I don’t care whether doctors only treat people that can afford their services and the rest be damned.  I am simply using it as an illustration of power.  Meta and I have debated whether or not the Hippocratic oath is still taken when doctors finish their education.  She feels that it is not, I feel that it is but it is nothing more than smoke and it been like that for a long time.

Then there is all that chatter over law enforcement with in the realm of police brutality.  I am mixed on this but for the sake of this conversation, if a person, due to the position they hold, can cripple or kill another human being under circumstances other  than self defense then what we are seeing is an example of power.  There are occasions when charges are brought against police officers for  improper use of force which creates the realistic illusion of accountability.

I’m sure that you can come with examples better than mine.  In any case, for what ever it was worth, i hope this was worth the time you spent reading it.

Understanding Power Part I

Before I Begin I want to say that I believe that every human being has the right to self defense.  Self Defense, in my view, does not include preemption.  You or I do not have the right to attack some one or aggressively defend ourselves against the notion of a potential threat.  This aggressive form of self defense also know as preemption isn’t really self defense.  Its aggression, its an attack, we would be going on the offensive.  We can’t just run around attacking people because we don’t like the way they look, that they make us nervous, have different beliefs or look at us funny.

None the Less I support an individual or a populations right to defend themselves by any means once they are under attack, once the lead starts flying as it were.

This is about understanding power and this first installment is about simple power.  I began this post with the statement that I believe in a person’s right to self defense because to a considerable extent simple power deals with the second amendment.  I am 51 years of age and the debate around the second amendment, gun control, has been going on as long as I can remember.  People older than me yet remember this debate as a sort of a back ground noise of their life.  First I’d like to admit that I support the second amendment.  This of course has caused me some concern as I have listened to the last round of debate on the issue of gun control.  It seems to me that the bulk of the people supporting the amendment and resisting any form of gun control make all gun control advocates look like lunatics.  There has been this phrase I have been hearing, now it may have been said in the past and often but this is the first time that I have heard it, and that phrase is “Gun Culture.”

What the Fuck does “Gun Culture” mean?  When I hear the term used, whether the speaker is a citizen of our fair country or a foreign devil, it sounds like some kind of a slam, an insult.  I really had to think on the term for a while to try and get a handle on it.  The internet as a tool for enlightenment was useless in this endeavor and there was no hard copy dictionary definition.  It was frustrating and annoying, all those grinning jar headed, glassy eyed, slack jawed idiots grinning and muttering the word “gun culture” left me with the same putrid feeling as some other pudding for brains, soft bottomed, over privileged turd using the term “White Culture.”

What were these phrases?  Where they some kind of a code, an inside joke, or the result of a group of demographers with a few carefully selected focus groups and their careful search for a phrase that would have some desired effect even though it didn’t actually mean anything?  The thing was, though it kept nagging at me something terrible, that the phrase “Gun Culture” does mean something.  We need to come to grips with the fact that if the citizenry of the United States did not possess military grade firearms in the distant past then our country would, in all likelihood, bear little resemblance to what it is today.  The destruction of the Native population, Genocide if you will, would have been impossible with out an armed citizenry.  The institution of Slavery, which went a long way to making the U.S. a rich country as only free labor can, also would have been impossible with out an armed citizenry.  I realize that these ideas may make people uncomfortable or uneasy but to say otherwise would be grossly unfair and dishonest.

The U.S. expansion into South and Central America after the Spanish American war, our participation in WW I and WW II would have been far less spectacular without a populous that was familiar with the use of fire arms.  Just imagine how quickly forces could be mobilized and fielded when the population already know how to use a gun then when they have to be trained from scratch.  Then of course there is F.D.R and the great depression.  Doctor Richard Wolf has a very interesting interpretation of Roosevelt’s New Deal policies and why they occurred.  It seems that the depression had brought our fair nation to the brink of civil war.  Back then not only where we armed we were also organized.  That’s a damn scary combination.  There were labor unions, political parties, progressives, Communists, Socialists, Antichrists and they shared members, meaning one person could be a member of more than on group union or party.  So when we retell the tale we simple talk about what a Commie FDR was because we most certainly don’t want to encourage the population of our fine nation to organize for a better life.  Maybe these kind of ideas are what is meant by the phrase “Gun Culture.”

In the past these far Left organizations use to scare the shit out of the government but decades of propaganda appealing to individual enrichment and anti union sediment have left our country with out a left wing any longer.  Now the concern is the far right, The Militia, Radical Religious Groups. and Anti Governmental organizations.  When I hear the media discuss these groups, which is rare since I don”t get cable in my home, they fix their side of the argument around the criminal threat and the threat of Terrorism if they are in favor of gun control and if they are against Gun Control them the argument revolves around protecting national sovereignty, defending our boarders (Illegal immigration) and being able to resist the government if it should get to big for its britches.  Then of course there are all the conspiracy theories around the NWO, Agenda 21, Chemtrails, death camps and the coming economic collapse and lets not forget about the Apocalypse although I am not sure what good guns will do a person if the world is ending.  At some point, when the debate turns serious it becomes simply, gun control prevents crime versus an armed citizenry prevents crime.  This is known as framing the argument.  Setting the terms of the debate so that no concept out side of the accepted spectrum of conversation can be discussed.  What is it they don’t really want to talk about?

The more I think about it the more its seems to be true.  What is it that guns represent to most people?  IN the simplest term guns, rifles or pistols represent power.  A firearm is the simplest form of power that any person can grasp.  It is power over your own life, power over other peoples lives, it is your independence and it is your ability to affect your world if you should feel the need.  We in the United States are an Nation of individuals so we lack the large organizations that other developed or Western nations have to affect change in their countries, all we have is fire arms.  It was while I sitting and thinking about this that I realized another very powerful tool we littel people have at our disposal.  That other powerful tool is the ability to say NO.  It is true that first few of us who say NO may pay with our lives.  It is also true that it is hard to say NO, especially to something or someone you care about.   Maybe it is just easier to pop a couple rounds off into a crowd.  Remember that the next time you decide to, or see footage of, somebody walking down the street with an AR 15 over their shoulder to protest for their right to bear arms.  I guess in the end its a lot easier for us to kill each other then it is to negotiate or organize or to simply say NO and stop participating.  Remember this the next time you witness a debate, whether in person or on television, as the discussion devolves into some ridiculous sensationalist piece of political theater that turns your stomach, because it should.

Those jar headed grinning idiots are trying to marginalize the whole of us because what the debate is about is power and taking away yours.  If you can’t own a fire arm legally, a weapon competitive with military hard ware, you can’t work up the courage to say NO and you refuse to organize, Well, what are you gonna do?  Where will you find your power?

Voices of the Dead

Its been a while since my last post, things of the end of summer and through the fall were just a bit out of hand and mind but I will save that for another time.

Please accept my apologies.

This early dark season festival many neopagans call Yule is a very important time for me.  This year I felt far from the advertised commercial feelings of the season and had come to a rest, as in a body at rest or in motion will resist any change to its state.  I hope I wasn’t too hard on Meta with my bah humbug and general blah sentiment.  I refer to it as melancholic as a way of differentiating it from out right depression.

I should be careful before I find myself babbling endlessly.

Any way, for me, in no way am I saying that any one else should see or relate to this season in a similar way,again, for me this is a time to reflect on all those that have come before, the family of my memory, and it is also a time to look forward.  The whole thing has a strange quiet soberness to it and this Christmas/Yule here in the north of Ohio where the cold chill freezes breezes sound from the air, or at least this seems the case.  You know its cold when you don’t here any gunshots.

My past, the time before the time now, the time when I still possessed a great hope and powerful will and had submitted to the great beliefs of our land.  These are memories of a first life, though I breathe the air with the same lungs now as I had then, or felt the rain with same skin now as then.  It was a time when I operated under the delusion that I was sane.  Now it feels still like I live a different life.  My mother bought this massive old Victorian house, a monstrosity, or white elephant as she liked to call it.  After two years of working on renovations we had began to have big thanksgiving gatherings.  Aunts Uncles, cousins, friends of the family so that there would be over twenty people in the large dining room most seated around that odd table that could be pulled to extend its length.  I’ve probably written about this event previously I honestly can’t remember.  Its Yule/Christmas/Chaunnika/Kwanza holidaze at the very beginning of the freezin’ season when I most dwell in those places in my memory where all those people still live.  Many are dead, the rest have moved far either to get away from members of the family that spooked them or to find better opportunities.  It matters not.

It is in this process of recollection that I feel those moments, moments that I know can never be recreated.  I know this is impossible yet I feel the need just like a chance meeting near a fairy circle.  Once you been in that space, if you are well wise, the memories are such that you desperately want to live them again even though it is very unlikely.  Fairies are capricious to say the least and rarely show favor to even the most friendly to their point of view more than once.  It is that which those old memories most remind me.  Images of grand parties like faerie lights or the wisps faint and odd in the distance.  It takes an effort to overcome the tendency to pick and choose the qualities we wish to remember.  A fair recollection is the most honest one you can keep.  Now that Dad had passed last year or the year before just a few days after his birthday I have no one left that remembers anything much about those times.

If I wasn’t all ready crazy I’d probably really feel like I was loosing my mind. As 99% of the memories I have worked so hard to keep have no counter point anywhere in the family.  I tell stories and no one recalls, no one remembers, no one cares.  I could be paranoid about the whole thing but I choose not.  Instead I choose, too much beer and drugs under their respective bridges or they simply forgot.  Through disinterest or as a way of avoiding emotional pain they simply let those events slide from the bright light of their mind’s eye and into the shadow.

Memory is like a garden, it has to be worked, cultivated and fed if you want it to be healthy and productive.

WHEN THE DEAD SPEAK,

IT’S VOICE IS LIKE THUNDER,

IT’S WORDS AND MESSAGES CREEP,

FROM PROFOUND SILENCES.

AND PLACES STRANGEST.

This fragment of a poem came out of this melancholic haze from that longest night of the year as I sat with my brother drinking beer and reflecting remembering and discussing our plans for the new year 2014.  It was then that the two times the dead left me a message seemed most profound.  In a surreal way they spoke directly to me through some sort of intermediary.  I do not necessarily attach any type of supernatural element to these messages.  Anyone may do so if they wish, but to my mind they found a most mundane path to deliver these messages to me.

The first incident was rooted during the time of my mothers wake and her burial.  She died in 1988 on the 2nd of december and was buried on the 6th, what was once known as Saint Nicholas day, her favorite feast on the catholic calendar other than the major catholic holidays.  I touched on this story in my work Living Inside schizophrenia which I as of yet have not gotten published.  My brother, this would be brother number three, my fourth brother had not as of yet became part of the family, was dating a young lady at that time.  She was very close to my whole family and went by the nickname Kimmie.  The Nickname Kimmie was given to her by my great aunt Ruth who has now for several years rested in the cold hard ground.  Apparently my mother and Kimmie had talked quite a bit, unbeknownst to me.  I lived in a different city at that tine and was desperately trying to scratch out some kind of an income from the world of minimum wage labor.  The university and I had decided to part ways, mostly it was the university’s decision.  This was my great failure in my own assessment.  It was my shame.  I quickly found work at a local fast food restaurant.  I had enough education that if I was honest on my applications for work then I was also over qualified for any better job.  Deception was never a preference of mine.

It was after the wake had ended and we all headed back to where ever we came from that my good friend Midnight Angel, a platonic friend, relayed this message to me.  She and Kimmie had spent some time on the side lines talking privately between themselves.  Kimmie stated that my mother had told her this: “At the time I washed out of college.  Went then and found a job and found an apartment and began to support myself she (My mother) had stopped worrying about me.  She was certain that I would be able to take care of myself.”

This could easily be considered hearsay.  Just as easily one might consider it as a made up thing simple stated to easy my strange grief.  I accepted the statement with the understanding that either of these may be true just as the message may have been accurate and true in its own right.  It didn’t seem really to matter as the message had little hard effect on me but yet I did manage to remember it.  It was a thing that held a great fascination for me.

The second case though is a bit stranger.  Meta, my wife, was doing research on her family history making use primarily of local resources.  One of these resources was the court records, especially the probate court.  She was looking up old probated wills from her family and asked me if she would like the wills from my mother and her father which I said I would.

Before I go on I should give some back story first.  Back in 1987 I was watching television and caught the news out of Columbus Ohio.  I believe it was Columbus although it just as easily could have been Detroit.  Where the news came from matters not, its one story during that broadcast that is important, at least it was to me at the time.  This story was about the Zimmer power plant that had been built in Cincinnati Ohio.  This was a joint project between Dayton Power and Light and a power company in Kentucky though honestly I couldn’t tell you its name.  Zimmer, the nuclear power plant, didn’t pass NRC regulations and was unsafe and would not be allowed to go on line.  It was a new power plant and had cost 9 billion dollars which the two companies had financed jointly.  DPL (Dayton Power and Light) was going to stop paying dividends and the price of the stock began to drop finally reaching almost 10 dollars a share.  It’s a power company so I knew that it would keep making money and as soon as the debt was paid it would start paying dividends again and the price would go back up.  I owned 538 or so shares of Centerior at the time and felt that I could easily sell two hundred of those shares and turn around and pick up three hundred of so shares of DPL.  I thought I was a good trade.  I decided to phone Dad and ask him to which he responded, in so many words, that I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and I should leave my Centerior stock alone.

It was silly actually, calling to ask permission to sell stock that I owned.  In the long term he would be right, I didn’t know what I was doing as I would later piss the whole 538 shares away on an ill-conceived business idea.  To this day I don’t know why I would sell the stock to open up a tea room but not sell it to increase my portfolio.  There is definitely a sign of fractured logic there.

Back to Meta and her investigation of her family history.  She did eventually bring both my Grandfather’s will and my Mother’s will.  Grandfather’s will was extensive.  On the other hand Mom’s will was smaller. You see mom bought stock in round lots, increments of 100 shares, then she would enroll in the companies dividend reinvestment program.  So her stock was single entry with some odd number behind it, like Centerior 937 shares or Pepsi co. 549 shares or Pfizer 1293 shares, but one entry stood out.  It struck me like a hand across the cheek.  That entry was Dayton Power and Light 1000 shares at$10.66 a share.  Maybe dad told her about the phone call he had gotten from me and she bought it or maybe she saw the same or a similar news story and bought it because she knew it was a good investment.  DPL wouldn’t come around until a year or two or maybe even three after she died but it did come around.  It doesn’t matter whether the idea came from me directly or if she saw a similar or even the same story on the news.  Its says the same thing about the decision that I didn’t have the spine to make for myself, what it said was that I had a good idea.  That I would have been right to follow that course, that I am not an idiot and that I do know what I am doing, sometimes.  The startling thing is how I got the message.

If I had no recollection of the event itself then I would have never received the message.  The messages delivery depended entirely on my own memory.  I could be receiving these messages everyday and not know it because I don’t remember the important events that would allow the message to make sense.  You to could be experiencing the same thing yourself but lack the memory to hear.  By the good will of the divine keep those memories a live.  They to may contain important components of messages from the dead, messages many of us have yet to receive.

Doomsayers, The end of the world and the National Security State

People sure are acting wacked out lately.

Is it the end times?

I shake my magic eight ball…signs say maybe.  Tsk, tsk, not good.

So how will it all come to an end?

Planet killer asteroid (Don’t you love that, like just plain asteroid isn’t enough, its needs to be extra special),  Iran finally tests nuclear missile and accidentally blows self up sparking thermonuclear war?  Okay, that’s too much, lets just say nuclear war.  How about a global oven or a world wide ice box…how do you dress for something like that?  Super plague or alien invasion?  Economic and/or Enviormental collapse, possibly a diluation of crop diversity due to over use of GM seed?  Posioned flu shots?  Too much flourine in the water?  Reactor melt down…hell governmental meltdown, either would be severe.  Killer nano bots, supersoldiers, mutants, zombies, RFID chips, really the list goes on and on.  We could probably turn it into a parlor game.  People have been worrying over and predicting the end of the world since they figured out they could make such prophecies.

There is a lot of fear out there but then I think there always is, I remember back in college when the big deal was then polar shift and there was some talk then about global warming.  I went to college in the early 80s.  I think uncertainty and insecurity are greater causes of fear than most anything else except the fear of loss.  Loss of someone or something that is more than important to you but is an intergral part of your life.  As I look back over my short meager existance I begin to realize that the world I live in today looks almost nothing like the world in which I dwelt before 1988.  Lost a lot of family over the ten years before culminating with the death of my mother.  The family that remained and the relationships that were once so rich quickly decayed.  My brothers and father no longer even seemed to be the same people.

Houses and apartments I rented are gone, stores I frequented have vanished, friends whom claimed undying love and loyalty disappeared far back along the horizon.  It is in its own way the very nature of our fragile ever changing world.  We people, I think, like to think of the world as a stable static place and work hard to maintain that frame of reference in our minds.  So when something horrible happens it is a shock, regardless of how often it has happened in the past, we continued the struggle to gleen those horrific images and feelings from our minds and go on as though those risks don’t exist.  This is where we find ourselves trapped.  Every night when we go to bed, a world dies and when we awake in the morning we come to, in a new world.  True the differences may be slight or subtle but over time the changes can be profound until finally we, those of us who survive, say, where did all that time go?  I was twenty just yesterday, when did all this happen?  60, I can’t believe I’m 60, I never thought I’d live this long.

Being human means being vulnerable.

I would love to believe that there is some type of a fix that would remove those moments that bring so many terrible emotional pain but there isn’t.  I know this myself, several times over.  The world is uncertain, life is short, bad frightening things happen, we have little power to influence the reality in which we live…all of this is true.  So what to do?

Make your home sacred space and bring not the darkness from the outside in when you pass through the door.

Find more joy and ways to express it, even if it is something a simple as a party or as complicated as pursuing the arts.

Don’t be afraid to be different.

Don’t worry about what other people are thinking.

Be prepared to trust with the understanding that there in lies risk.

Finally, remember, you never know when the words you speak will be the last words.  Either your last words or the last words any given person might hear.  If you truly care about a person then make as many words as you can good words.  hesitate before you react emotionally.  Tell them you love them and understand that it isn’t for them that you express this, but for yourself.

Who am I?

It seems like such a simple question. I graduated highschool when I was 17 and started college the next fall have just turned 18 and although I didn’t know where my life would lead, most certainly I knew I was Somebody. It only took a string of deaths in my family, the last from that time being my mother, being chiseled out of my inheritance by a well-meaning father and a slow burning crash of a mental break out of college and down while working at McDonald’s before I realized that A I was a paranoid schizophrenic alone in the world and a nobody. By then I was an ancient 24 turning 25. The world I once lived in was gone, a catastrophe that on the personal level is only matched by a nuclear weapon. I was broken and I didn’t have all the pieces so I spent from then until now trying to resemble what was left, this next summer I will turn 48 and it has been a long haul and I have learned who I am and now I am going to tell you.

I am here and there, behind and underfoot, all around and no where,

I am the person you speak of in the third person while I am standing beside you,

I am the one the disappears and no one notices,

I know I existed before but for the longest time I thought I was a figment of my wifes imagination

I am the lost cause, the waste of space, the problem, the fifth column, the unwashed, the enemy at home,

I am the one who waits your tables, cleans your toilets, shovels your shit, moves your lawn,

I live around the corner, down the street, on the wrong side of the tracks or across the hall.

I am the soft touch, the pigeon, the mark, the easy sale, the gravy train, the free couch,

I am the smiling face that holds the door open for you, or reaches where you can not,

I am the person that does the good deed with full knowledge of the punishment to follow for if there is no risk then it is not truly a good deed,

I am the giant that cast no shadow, the face in the crowd, the silent witness, the hushed voice, the word that cannot be spoken, the name that will not pass your lips,

I am the expendable, the unnecessary, the mouse that flees the foot step the fear of being noticed for if I am

Then I am the suspect in custody, the bad egg, the burden on society, the reason most commonly given

I am the beaten, the bloodied, the broken, the slave who will not knee,

I have stood eye to eye with the devil and I did not step back

I have faced my death twice with my eyes open,

I know fear,

I am the statistical anomaly, the 65% who earn one penny on every dollar, the undone wrong, the uncommitted sin, the stain that cannot be removed

I am the one who give up his place in the line to anyone who needs it, I am patience,

I am the true believer and the atheist, the skeptic and the devotee, the teacher and the student,

I am the calculating savage psychopath who cares because I chose to

I am light on the darkest of nights, I know the way through the abyss

I am invisible, there is power in not being seen

I will have no tombstone, my passing will only be noted amongst the numbers of the dead and the dying,

I am the shadow that steals your breath, the foot fall the causes hesitation, the chill that makes your hair stand on end

I see the humanity in everyone and the animal we often confuse for it

I am the calm voice between the police and the protesters, I am the quiet in the middle of the mayhem

I am the key to the gate that holds back the screaming madness

I am the sentinel, cold stone and hot blood that stands between the city and the massing uncertainty

I am the worst case scenario, the ground that cannot be held, the highest probability of failure, the inscrutable who lays his cards on the table,

I am the lone wolf, the cat in heat, the rabid dog, the chipmunk and the dragon who will not sit in judgement

I am the hesitation after the blow, the second chance,

I am the hidden dancer that only the purest of hearts can appreciate

I have been, am and will be, the ever open eye, the undefended ear, I see, I listen I remember, I know

And I have learned that every person sees and hears the world differently, that chaos comes when we insulate ourselves from that fact

I am waiting, my time is coming, our time is coming, there will be no blood, no bullets, for we will be the ones left, the last ones standing, the survivors

we will inherit

Are you one of us?

If you have to think about it then the answer is NO.

Being Blessed

We each study the world outside of ourselves and the others who inhabit it with a careful eye. We hold in our mind  a stick. It is with this thing that we measure ourselves and use as a point of comparison with those who live beyond us.  Some are smarter, stronger, richer, prettier or more popular and in the spectrum of things it matters not except with respect to that stick we hold in our mind. This stick could be short or long, thin or fat and when it comes down to the point it is practically useless as a tool of measurement except in that it provides data. This raw data drawn from the point of comparison must be interpreted and here in lies the catch.

The stick is constructed of materials found in a great dark place, swampy and fetid it is that space that all people go to find the stick they will use to measure their lives and value with.  Its is there among the decaying good deeds, rotten best intentions and slippery and poisonous expectations that we may find this stick.  It is a permanent leaning into the dark and that is a weight we must deal with.

We can choose to interpret our data darkly or lightly and these methods of study can be simple or complex in the extreme. These things, these structures of thought are based on assumptions and definitions. We can choose assumptions, definitions, or reasons that are self-centered, picked on, singled out, lonely hopeless things and in that way they blind us.  They leave us living in an evil world where everyone is out to get us, against us and that we are alone.  We can also chose the opposite. Generally people don’t like to choose the opposite, being hated and picked on and facing a cruel world has a seductive quality like a cigarette or a gun.  It feels good and it is self reinforcing. In this way we chose to believe the worst of the hearts and minds of our fellow human beings. This is a choice about a thing of which we can know nothing, the heart and mind of another human being, even our selves is a thing we can know very little or nothing about. The greater world beyond is much the same, just because a reason exists doesn’t mean you’ll ever know or understand it. This is a thing that is unfathomable and in order to believe you must make a leap. You could choose to leap into the darkness or into the light and once the leap is made it will change the way the very world looks sounds and feels to you.

I once heard a person, on the radio say, that as your attitude improves and becomes more positive than good things will appear for you…much like magic. This idea is not correct inherently, things don’t appear and disappear like magic. They were always there and the only thing that has changed is a person’s ability to see these good things. This is what being blessed is about.

Being Blessed is difficult as so many that share this world with us are dark and play to the dark…after all its good for sales. This darkness wants to creep back into your heart and extinguish the light there much like a lonely candle faced with a hurricane. It takes effort and can be seen as a form of prayer, it is the idea that everyday there are wonders in the world there for anyone with the determination and fortitude to simply see. Much like the knight of faith from Kierkegaard’s work FEAR AND TREMBLING you live in the glory of a gentle kind world that, even in your worse times, offers simple gifts and blessings, gentle caresses of a smooth cool breeze just before dawn in the shadow world before the sun first shows is light.

Being Blessed is simply walking in Blessedness, seeing the beauty and kindness and relishing it as for many of us it is only small things that we are given. So throw away the stick and be in the moment and walk in the blessings you are given, like rain on a dry day, a smile from a strange, a gentle word, a precious moment of time or a shared song or meal.

For beginnings let me show you how…

Say to yourself or to the air the following words: IAM BLESSED…  You have to finish the sentence.  I’ll give you a few examples from my own existence.

I AM BLESSED By A wife that has taught me that a thing can be good even though it isn’t new.

I AM BLESSED by a wife that taught me that treasures can be found in the bottom of a dumpster.

I AM BLESSED By knowing to take pride in the work of my hands and how I am rather than my money and prestige.

I AM BLESSED as I have learned not to resent other people for decisions I have made

I AM BLESSED By being able to learn to cook from scratch, by myself.

I AM BLESSED by making my first action in any situation, hesitation.

I AM BLESSED by the kindness of strangers.

I AM BlESSED that my health isn’t worse.

I AM BLESSED with a wife I can spend eternity with.

I AM BLESSED with a sense of child like wonder in the world I live, that spreads from birds on the wing to rude squirrels and the colorful leaves of fall.

I AM BLESSED like the simple pansy, I live without pain or toil and am resilient from the most crushing blow.

I AM BLESSED with plenty of space in my heart to love many people.

I AM BLESSED that my enemies are far fewer than my friends.

Clarification: The Fall of the Age of Empires

Globalism, Love it, Hate it, don’t have any idea what its all about, where ever you fit, it’s here to stay.
Many view Globalism as a direct threat to national sovreinity others as an intense conspiracy to enslave the entire population under the dictatorial rule of a few elites. Illuminati, Reptilians, Insectoids from the planet Remulack, the mysterious inhabitants of the Blue list…Not to be confused with the independent traveler. Everything gets so muddy when there is so little clear information available, and there are reasons for that as mundane as they maybe.

First what exactly is Globalism? First we need to look back to a African Colonial of English Descent by the name of Rhodes, John Cecil Rhodes to be exact. The founder of the colony that use to bear his name, Rhodesia. You can look him up in any self respecting dictionary if your not in the mood to google him. In my beaten old dictionary they call him a statesman but really he was an industrialist with interests principally in mining. Gold, Diamonds and South Africa, if that chain of word doesn’t invoke less than pleasant images in your minds eye than your education is sorely lacking. Rhodes, that’s John Cecil, whether you loved him or hated him, either then or now was a surprisingly influential man. His legacy was the Rhodes Scholarship so that future captains of industry, political players or any other individual with serious prospects of holding a position of influence would be able to meet each other and network. It was much easier to accomplish change on a global scale if all the players knew each other and where on speaking terms.

I can hear my friends in the realm of conspiracy starting to howl already and as conspiratorial as this may seem nothing illegal was being done. For Rhodes before all else was a business man, business before all else even God, now what self-respecting capitalist could have problems with that.  By the way, the greys and the reptilians don’t like it any more than you do.

Rhodes, Remember John Cecil, had a vision and this vision was shared by others like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Rothschild just to name a few.  They were all making fortunes at about the same time, the 1890s.  This was a time when very little stood between a man, excuse me, a Company and profits and the idea was not only to maintain this atmosphere but to expand it,  All of this would be accomplished through legislation in the industrial world and the iron boot in the third world.  Of course this is a clear answer to the question in the first place.

So here we go:  Globalism is the movement to eliminate any barrier to the practice of business whether the barrier be the criminal code, labor laws, environmental laws,  tax laws, governments or populations.  Business is here to stay and you best get put of its way, of course there was always civil law for those of us whom could afford it.  At least that is the way it was but now this bloat rotten system of profit regardless of the human cost in starting to tetter,  But I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

The world in which Rhode existed, don’t forget, John Cecil, was much different than ours.  It took weeks if not months to ship good from africa to the United States or England.  It was a time that telephones were just starting to reach there peak but we had yet to reach national telephone networks much less global.  Flying was a thing that only a lunatic would do, in the United states this is the time of the early birds before Airmail became the industry it would be by WWII or shortly there after.  Shipping was powered by steam, mostly coal and I am uncertain exactly when diesel took over the top spot as fuel for ocean transport but it was after Rhodes Death in 1902.  As much as the early industrialists longed for a world open to be wantonly plundered by business the were limited by the technology of the time.

It was with the evolution of three things that Globalism came into adult hood, 1) Communication, 2) Transportation and 3) production.  The last piece of that puzzle was communications by way of the internet.

Before I take this any further we should put this in a place in time.  Not time with respect to a date but in time with a sense of our own progress as a nation on a planet thick with the same.  We, the United States, are one of a group of nations collectively referred to as the west.  That’s west as in Western History ergo europe and the mediterranean basin and these people’s outward progress.  In this go around the West was the first to venture into the industrial age, through it and into the post industrial period.  When trying to understand the industrial age think factory.  The startling similarity between the communist and the capitalist during this phase is that all centers around the factory.  The factory, manned by labor to produce parts and finished goods for use or simply sale.

School, students file in and out of classrooms by the signal of the bell, like the factory whistle, given their lessons in an environment that is intended to be highly structured.  This is the institution that fabricates the next generation of the tools of production, like parts of a machine.  The teachers are highly educated for the purpose of fabricating these parts.  To understand the industrial restaurant go to any fast food establishment where those who wish to eat line up in the que and wait to order their food from an assembly line.  Healthcare where doctors function like an assembly line treating one patient after another, to see this for your self check out out patient pre-op.  In the University the material must be digested and mastery obtained by a strict regime, tested again and again, non destructive, to be sure the part is ready for the giant factory.  When the part is broken it is thrown on to the trash heap…Food stamps, disability or retraining.  As the tools of the establishment, labor, organize and gain benefits such as wages, reasonable working conditions and hours, and a serious voice in the government, business begins to look for greener pastures.  This is from which we in the United States are passing.  It leads to the rise of the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) who are emerging into the industrial age.  Nations that are heavily industrial can keep their business by taking the opposite in tax policy that we have here in the United States but that is neither here nor there.  We are now a Global community, business roams looking for cheaper labor, production, resources and over head.  It is the nature of the beast, business seeks a higher income and at some point it comes down to divesting from labor.  The end result is that fewer and fewer of the population on the whole are capable of purchasing the goods that are produced.

This leads to a subsidy system.  We like to think about entitlements as a way or supporting lazy people.  the reality is that entitlements, government charity are a subsidy channeled through the parts to support the factory.  This is where we are at.  The old factory model is failing, it no longer applies to the reality in which we americans exist.  Now it applies to the BRIC nations.  Our Government, as a point of interest all governments in the west to a greater or lesser extent are subsidizing their factories.  In this hope they wish to sustain the industrial model which is failing around them.

In the beginning Government…Kings for example, existed to keep power in the hands  of a few chose by whatever god for just that task.  In time, through hardship and resistance government became an institution of and for the people.  Both to maintain order and to enforce laws for the common good,  With the rise of ADAM SMITH and capitalist, government found itself enslaved or representing, if you rather. the moneyed few.  When we think of the size of government, its tax revenues it strikes us in an intensely personal way.  Everything seems so disconnected but our government has become a channel for raise capital through taxation and delivering it to industry.  The institution, Government has become bloated with dead wood.

Government is intended to serve its people, all of its people.  When a Government adjusts to caring for a very few its perspective becomes skewed.  It generates systems for control.  It looses its interest in regulating business ans becomes a beast more interested in keeping its own population under control.  As crazy as it may sound this isn’t political really.  We the people are wandering into unknown country.

We are use to the idea of working through out or life time in a factory and having all the we need provided by a factory.  Its time to rethink.  Its time to reappraise worth, value, meaning and productivity.  We are living amidst the ruins of the factory.  The advantage is the internet for through it we can communicate.  If the government cracks down on this freedom it will hurt business as much as us.  So I say Simply, welcome to globalism, we all have a place in its realm to dwell.  Forget about suffering over the sherrade in far off washington sand start paying attention in your home town.  We need genius.  Its been with us before and maybe it is still with us and you today.

An Open Letter Concerning Ohio citzen and 9/11 incident

Her Names is Shoshana,

If I am saying her name correctly in my head then I can say safely that it is a beautiful name. I have no idea what to say as far as her detainment and the treatment that followed. It most certainly could have been much worse, but that is no consolation. I could say that I am sympathetic or empathetic and that would sound right but it would not be true. I read her Blog, I read Some Real Shock and Awe, I liked it. It was honest, parts of it were simply angry reflex all very human just like me but I don’t really have any idea what that is like, personally. I feel bad for everybody, including the hot discourse that I sampled in the comments.
I’ve had my home broken into on more than one occasion, I know what that feels like. I understand the constant threat of being institutionalized against your will for the common good, I live with that. I know what its like to be singled out by the cops because I am big, not fat, and weird looking, I understand how that feels. But all of that is just my feelings, I can’t say I truly understand what Shoshana was feeling during the process. Imagine not knowing why, having no contact with a lawyer, no clock, no sense of time and place and the entire idea of remaining silent and demanfding a lawyer, well, its cute and somewhat niave. Forgive me.

All I can say is I feel bad. I wish I could comiserate better, walk around in her shoes for a day. But I can’t, my feet are too big.
I don’t like the word race, honestly it comes from a time when race meant different species. We are all human regardless of our continent of origin and the shade of or skin. As far as profiling, that’s been going on as long as I can remember and that’s way before 9/11. Back then if ones skin was a tad to dark or hair too red and they were poor they would be routinely acousted in some neighborhoods and many municipalities throughout Erie County Ohio. The fact is the no one really cared because regardless of the shade, they were all poor. Poor people represent a threat, they are guilty until proven innocent. It wasn’t until an officer slipped and took a swipe at someone who could afford legal defense that things would get sticky. In the end the local courts would be run by the same cultural interests that were on the police force and nothing would come of it. People from the big cities would laugh and make comments aboput small town hicks never realizing that one day this set of attitudes would gain enough momentum to run the country.

Yet Shoshana did nothing wrong, said nothing, threatened no one so when it comes right down to it what happened to her has little to do with laws and a great deal to do with power.

Back in the 1850s, when the two political parties were the Whigs and the Democratic Republicans. or at least around that date Milard Filmore, the president at the time, was forced to call out the regular military to quell a serious civil disturbance.  The Whigs were the Anti-immagrant, Anti-Catholic and Anti expansionist party and with their help, there was some encouragement of nativist groups to commit acts of violence agaist first generation Irish and German immagrants as well as Free African americans some of which had never been slaves.  Priests were lynched along side African men, Churchs and imagrant businesss were burned, nuns and siaters were defrocked and “Freed” from cloister.  Now I can’t say that African, Irish and german stock all got along like the greatest of friends before the rise of nativism, but when the situation became life threatening they armed themselves and fought back.  So Millard Filmore sent out the army to act as peacemakers in a war zone, in this case New York City.  This is just an illustration of why the color line is so important.

It took a long time to draw the color line, that’s the divison between shades paler and shades darker and in the process cracked the largest political force in this or any other country.  The lower classes no longer saw themselves as having comon interests and began to fight amongst themselves.  They have it harder than us, we suffer more than they do, they have it too easy and finally, if you don’t like it then get out of the country…My oh My it doesn’t matter which shade you put on which side it only matters that there are sides, division.

What about other Shoshana’s, the one’s disappeared never to be heard of never acknowledged, are they out there?  Will they be in the future?  By denying the detained contact with the outside it is in fact as though they never were.  All the authorities have to do is deny, not acknowledge and ignore and many of us know how accomplished our government is at such things.  This is terrifying whether I side with Shoshana or not.  It forces or demands trust in a government that hasn’t not inspired even their own employees to such a state.  Its a lot to ask a free people.

Then are we free?  I guess if the argument stays where it should then we are, but don’t disent in some odd way, don’t stick your head out, don’t rock the boat.

In the comments there was a great deal of talk about rights which was sort of strange. I suggest that, if you can afford it, all of you order a copy of the Patriot Act and take a look at it.  Its a substantail work and I haven’t been able to get through it all the way. You see the bill of rights can be suspended individually, regionally or natiuonally at any time National Security is threatened.  There are two prescendents for this in American history, first the Civil War and second World War Two.  In effect peoples rights couldn’t be violated because they had no rights, now we are involved in the war on Terrorism and again, in esense the bill of rights is in effect only when the government decides that it is.  The whole thing is really simple, its called scapegoating.  You chose someone or a group conciously or through prejudice and create an air of suspicion and fear.  The history of this tactic in the United States goes all the way back to the beginnings of the cold war and the invisible menace, the red scare, nuclear terror.  Culturally the population has to clearly define itself asd good and fighting evil, it is an assumed definition so that we never question our, my, indivdual motives.  When some one is pulled out of line, skin shades too dark, different ethicity, or different religion or just weirder than the rest, those not chosen, at the surface feel relieved that this hidden mysterious undefined threat has been removed but more deeply we are just happy it wasn’t us individually that got pulled into detention.  Fear is a powerful motivator.

 

So for Shoshana I simply say sorry, I understand as best as I can and really wished it had never happen to you or and anybody else.  To the participants in the hot conversation in the comment section of her blog I only wonder…when are we gonna stop pickinging with each other and start working together to try and figure out, just exactly who or what is terrorising whom.

Yet more Babbling on the absolute sense

Why do we preceive what we do about ourselves, others or the world around us?  Do internal mental or emtional states influence what we preceive?  What does it mean to preceive? does preconception affect preception?

Here’s is a little experiement you can do yourself.  Find or purchase a small note pad/ stenopad, you know like the kind people use to make lists.  Label three pages in a row day one, the first of these three also labeled morning.  When you wake up for the day, sit on the edge of your bed for just a few minutes and let your thoughts clear and then, before you begin your morning write a short sentence, or if you prefer a string of adjectives about how you feel, emotionally or physically, and put a line under them.  You don’t need a great deal of detail to start but be honest.  After you done you bathing or whatever you do, avoiding the mirror as much as possible, before you leave for work or begin whatever project you maybe undertaking look in the mirror with intent and write down, under the line on page one the first word, words or sentence that comes to your mind.  Turn the page, at the top of page number 2 for day 1 write midday.  In the middle of your day, at lunch or when that time comes depending on your routine answer the following questions with a yes, no or ?.  They are, Do I feel attractive? Do I feel competant? Do I feel confident? Do I feel appreciated? and finally do I feel anxious?  This should only take a few minutes and when your done turn to page three.  This page, with day one labeled at the top is marked evening.  Before, or when, you get home for the evening, before interacting with your family or roommates give yourself a few minutes to clear the thoughts of the day from your mind and when they clear ask yourself, quietly, focused inwardly, how you feel.  Write a short chain of adjectives or a brief sentence and put a line beneath it.  In the evening before you go to bed for the night take a last look in the mirror, and record the first words that come to your mind.  Repeat this process for a week minumum, two weeks is ideal.  Once the pages are written don’t look back over them, leave them exit your thoughts, refrain from looking in the mirror more often than instructed, and finally don’t fret over the experiement.  Just be honest and be yourself.

When you have finished collecting the data then, when you have an hour or two, go over the information and ask yourself the following questions:  Has the level of my internal awareness changed, Have I become more aware of my moods and feelings and thoughts?  More importantly, does these internal moods affect my preceptions of myself in the mirror, in other words do my moods change the way I look?  How considerable do you suppose this change is?

I remember one night sometime ago while listening to my favorite radio program, Coast to Coast, when the guest, who’s particular name is unimportant, and the host, again whose identity is unimportant, had reached an impasse in their conversation.  The host and the guest had different points of view on the subject and the hosts efforts to make his point were being hung up for one simple reason.  The two kept using the same word or phrases to describe their slightly opposed views and didn’t seen to be able to communicate.  In other words it sounded as though they were making the same statements, saying the same words, but because of variances in meaning, the effort to express the differing view resulted in a fustrating experience for the host.  I could feel his frustration through the radio.  It wasn’t angry or nasty between the two but vexing.  The words in question were preceive, preceiving and preception.  The statement that started the dialog was, and I’m paraphrasing as I am unsure of the exact words, “If I preceive a threat, to myself or my family, then I will use any tool at my disposal to eliminate said threat.”  This was expounded apon tp include neighborhood, nation and such and I have heard it stated in one form or another since I was in my middle teens.

What does it mean to preceive a threat?  Often examples like this are used, “If you saw somebody about to shoot you then you would try to shoot them first? wouldn’t you? or if you saw a missle about to be launched and you could knock it over while it was still on the ground you would, its the only thing that makes sense.”  (Refrence the documentary, “Why We Fight.”)  This statement seemes obvious and direct but it logically presupposes intent.  This presupposition tends to automatically, more times than not, draw aggrement even though most of us, myself included don’t natural study said presupposition.  The argument presupposes both intent and some godlike omniscience on the part of the preceiver to know something that is otherwise unknowable.  I simpler language its dependent on two great big assumptions.  Question, have you ever been in a public place when a person whom looks familar in someway to you waves in your direction and when you wave back it becomes apparent they weren’t waving at you at all but someone else in your vicinity?  Remember the embaressment or feeling foolishness.  They looked somehow familar, where motioning in your direction and you assumed to were the object of said motions.  Has anyone yelled your name in what appeared to be your direction and as it were someone else near you just happened to have the same name?  Did you feel silly reacting to someone in a familar way or responding to your name when no one was talking to you in the first place?  If it this easy to draw a incorrect conclusion based on a simple assumption should we just start popping of rounds at some idiot who is only guilty of brandishing a firearm.  If you think that’s O’kay, then you can alway move to my home town, people around here fire off their guns for any old reason.

The reality is nothing more than a simple case of basic logic.  A statement is either true or it is not true.  Think about this:

Is it always true that possession of a weapon, be it a nuclear missle, conventional bomb, fighter plane, tank, battleship or even a hand gun implies or infers in anyway a person’s intent to use said weapon?

Or

Is it not always true that possession of stated weapon or weapons imply or infer a person’s intent to use said weapon?

People always get pissed at me when I ask such questions, stateing its not that simple or some other phrase that is generally specific and equally vague.  The fact is that it either is always true or its not always true, there is no moral presupposition or any other preconception involved, it is just the place were the conversation starts.  The United States has the largest aresnal in the world.  Our government borrows money to add to this stockpile.  If the first case is true, that intent is always implied and inferred then what does that tell you?  Remember that when someone starts ranting about the threat from Iran, Pakistan or China.  But wait, before you start to fume, What if the second case is true, that ownership of a weapon(s) does not imply or infer intent to use?  Then why borrow money to build weapons?  If they are not ever definitely going to be used then how will our government ever pay off all that debt?  The more I think on it the crazier the whole thing seems and it simply make less and less sense.

One last question, I do blather on, is feeling threatened the same thing as being thgreatened?  Both feeling and being are based on the act of preceiving.  As I have said, I am a paranoid schizophrenic so I understand the feeling of threat, especailly since I have heard it said, through the mass radio media of the 90s that people like me should be buried up to our necks and have our heads run over by bulldozers.  It was a long time ago and I felt very threatened even though I understood the source of the rage.  It involved a school shooting by an ex-employee who had a “history of mental health issues.”  I had not shot anyone yet somehow, by simple association, I had become a thing that should be elimuinated.  Just throw open the furnace doors and march me in.  I realize with thought that the talker on the radio may have been using an extreme position to raise awareness of serious issues in the mental health care system.  It was Meta who helped me grasp that, but what if I took the earlier position, “If I preceive any threat to myself or my family I will use any tool at my disposal to eliminate (Terminate) it.”  If any government or group has the moral imperative to act in self defensein such a way then so do I, don’t I?  In short, no, not I or any one else is in the moral right to, simply by acting in a violent fashion first, premptivelt elimante a preceived threat.  People feel threatened all the time, some act others, do not.  For some people here in my home town living on the far right, the election of a black president was intensly threatening.  Young African Americans walking our city streets with pride at finally being fully equal members of our society was seen by these individuals as strutting with lawlessness on their minds, after all. now they can get away with anything.

Always start your thought with a simple statement and a question.  Is your statement always true or not always true.  People feel threatened all the time, they say threatening things to each other on a daily basis.  If just feeling scared, or hearing or saying threatening sounding things is all it takes to give people the god given moral impertative to start killing each other, well, then, I guess the game called planet earth is just about over.

Babbling on in The Absolute Sense

Who, what, where, when and why were the most important questions when writting a theme on any given topic, even a short story, Sister Louise informed all of us in the first session of our freshman english class. Sister Marilyn’s speil stressed the same five words in sophmore english as a way to approach and gain an understanding of classical literature. Yes indeed I attended a private school, catholic, and in both cases these statements lulled me into a state of total unpreparedness from just exactly how demanding those classes, as it turned out, would actually be. If it hasn’t occurred to you yet, english is something of a second language. My native tongue is a combination of grunts, growls and barks with a liberal mix of maculine gastric sounds.
The five W’s are great but I always like to include How along with them. I suppose with proper application, when, where and what one might incidentally or entirely cover the domain of How but for the moment I will insist How stay in the mix. When it comes to our preceptions or senses, Where, When, Who and What, it could be said are the results of the exact interpetation of incoming data by our physical sensory apparatus. Why and less often, how often require some reasoning or logic as well to complete the process. But that isn’t really what the topic I’m writting to you is about, instead what I’m examining is how and why we preceive whatever we may be preceiving.  To rephrase, how do we sense or preceive the world and its objects and why do we preceive them in the manner we do. At first this may appear redundant so I ask your patience as I continue.

In Physics, for example, a complex problem or concept is broken down into parts through a method that isolates a single variable.  It is from there the real examination begins.  So with my topic, first, I think, the how of preception is important and a good place to start.  In simple terms, as I am a simple person. Light strikes the eye (sounds violent) the iris constricting or dialating depending on conditions needed to keep the volume of light with in an optimal range.  The lens behind the pupil refocuses the light so that it makes contact with the retina in an ordered and focused manner.  The photons (light) produce a chemical reaction within the cones and rods that compose the retina which produces an electric signal or blip, each of which is only a tiny bit of data.  The blip, or many blips as it were, travel along the optical nerve and are eventually deposited in the occipital lobe (at the rear of the cortex) where they are reassembled and used to create the picture we see.  That’s how I was orignally instructed in eighth grade biology and later in Sophmore biology.  It is simple and direct and an excellent example of scientific materialism.  My mother, a registered nurse, often described doctors as electricians, plumbers or automotive mechanics.  In her mind the human body was identical to any ordinary machine, thus the term, Scientific Materialism.

I accepted this for a long time, until somewhere around the age of twenty a peculair observation occurred to me.  I was sitting in my bedroom letting my thoughts drift as I often still do to this day when I was suddenly struck by both the above definition of the mechanics of sight and the sheer volume of my room.  That probably sounds odd, but if you stop for a few minutes on any day and simply look about at your enviornment, how much depth, height and width you can observe contigiously, any furniture, the flooring, things hanging on a wall or even, heaven forbid a cobweb in the corner.  Its immense, if your in the outside world it becomes huge and I haven’t quite figured out how it all fits inside my head.  The space between my ears is vastly inferior in volume then the space it is preceiving and conceiving.  Thomas Aquinas, early reniesance philosopher and Saint explained this by useing the term Phantasm.  This phantasm or phantom was a construct in minuture of the world outside and by some trick of the divine we could transpose it so that our view oif reality was flawless in its accuracy.  Imagine that there stood a huge hole in the floor but your phantom was not of high enough quality so that you would be aware of it, a treacherous situation indeed.  Of course Thomas Aquinas, My wife Meta informs me, borrowed the idea from the ancient greeks.  I guess all great ideas occur in people thoughts far more than once,

As strange as it maybe a version of this is still favored by some neural scientists and philosophers of late.  Useing terminology that startlingly resembles computer babble the brain translates the data to code that is being transcribed into the visual imagry that we understand as sight.  The act of seeing is itself something of an illusion allowing a seemlessness to our world.  Illusion is an interesting word for me, or anyone else, to chose.  There has been a position held by some that conciousness as we understanding is do to two competeing and more times than not opposed chains of extremely complex algorithms (Say that ten times fast) and in reality it is a phantom or an illusion.  If you substitue the word imagination for illusion in the above statements quickly become patently ludicrous.  Imagination is a term given to something concious, for instance, does a chair or a table have an imagination?

If you look at all the data being processed and all the traveling it has to do from here to there in the nervous system and around the brain it really makes one wonder why there doesn’t seem to be some sort of a drag in our preceptions, like a flutter or a stutter.  All that processing doesn’t happen instanteanously does it?  Maybe the individual lag in processing and understanding sensory imput is constant for all human’s.  Since each of us processes and responds at the same rate whatever lag there might be seemes nonexistant, after all we wouldn’t want to have a drag.  Wait a minute, we don’t all have the same drag or lag, just uses reflexes for an example.  Some people have faster than average and other people have slower than average reflex time, in this case physical reaction time, as it has the most processing distance to accomplish.  So some people lag drag more and others less yet some how everything is fluid and constant.  I think I’m confusing myself.

If a tall man’s reflexes are faster than a short man’s, in the extremeties, something mundane like catching an ice cube as it falls from the freezer then in a sense the tranmission of data, at least in some cases must be nearly instantaneous which violates the natural laws as described by physics.  At the same time, without regard to individual variances in reaction, a group interacts with a fluid seemlessness inplying that at some level each is processing at this near instantaneous rate which is even a more profond violation of natural scientific logic.  Maybe I’ve reached a dead end with How.  What about Why?

Why do we see or hear the world the way we do.  Is it possible that anticpation on how an event will sound or the way something will look affect what we actually see or hear.  While in therapy, once many years ago during a dark time, my therapist suggested an affirmation I should do every day.  I told him I would try at which point he asked me a most strange question, “Does the word try imply failure?”  I automatically said “No.”  But the notion that a phrase or even an honest statement of obvious fact could imply anything other then the denotative meaning of the words fascinated me.  It would be years before I would hear a phrase and spend enough hours observing a person before I would find a great example.  Meta’s son Red would often respond to questions about getting a job with the phrase, “Takes money to Make money.”  This seemes to be a truism, yet the reality is Red doesn’t really want to do anything towards his own support, even clean up after himself.  Thus the phrase is really a coded answer and when the code is properly translated it means, “I want you to take care of me,” or “No I don’t want to do any work,” or, maybe, “I can’t/won’t engage in mrenial labor,” or in the extreme, “I can’t get ahead so why bother.”  Most curiously the phrase is self reinforcing, meaning everytime it is said or thought it reinforces the view that working never helped anyone but the person you’re working for.  The reality becomes as certain as concrete, proven again and again, a fact that can not be challenged.  With a little thought any of us can think of examples within ourselves or others that reinforces a contrary position to a point that we or they no longer feel the use of trying.  If this pattern goes on long enough we forget the reason we first began useing the verbal device and it has become as real as a bullet.  Getting back to the word illusion.  In this context it describes foolishness but the word it self deals with the act of not only creating a illusion or delusion but also the ability to become illuded or delluded.  Do you thing a couch might be able to trick itself into believing its concious?  Its a riducolous question, you see it seems the only things that can be tricked into believing their concious are things that are concious.  You can negate this and it still holds, a conciuous being can also trick itself into unconciousness.